Natalie Negrotti is a former NFL cheerleader who rose to fame on Big Brother. Recently, she has been a competitor on The Challenge: Final Reckoning.
Now, Natalie has publicly come out as pansexual and revealed that she is dating a woman. Congratulations, Natalie!
This happy milestone was somewhat marred by the fact that one of her costars had more or less outed her recently. Yikes.
MTV's The Challenge: Final Reckoning is the thirty-second season of The Challenge. Feel old yet?
After Kaleigh Morris outed effectively outed her -- incorrectly referring to her as a lesbian.
Backed into a proverbial corner, Kaleigh came out as pansexual on Tuesday, July 17's airing of The Challenge.
Sexuality is complicated and not everyone is comfortable with every label, but pansexual means that a person is attracted to people without regard for gender.
Though bisexual is a more common label, some feel bogged down by the label's baggage. That is a personal preference either way.
Natalie spoke to Us Weekly about coming out, first opening up about what it was like to be outed by a costar.
Kaleigh had believed that Natalie was part of a "mean girl" incident on the show. Kaleigh did not believe her denials, and retaliated in a cruel way.
"She did it in a really malicious way, and that’s what really hurt me," Natalie explains.
"The way she did it," was vicious. Natalie continues. "She was saying, ‘She doesn’t even like d--k, she likes p--sy. She’s a lesbian.’"
Gender isn't the same thing as genitals, so characterizing a lesbian in that way isn't necessarily accurate, but that seems to be the least of Kaleigh's issues from what she had to say.
"I’m not a lesbian," Natalie clarifies. "I’m pansexual."
"She outed me in a really aggressive way and kept going," Natalie says.
"It was really homophobic in a way," Natalie explains. And she's right. "To me, that’s getting gay shamed."
Outing can make people lose their livelihoods or even their lives. Yes, even in 2018.
And while Natalie is fortunate enough to not be in that situation, she did receive a homophobic backlash on social media.
"Then there was a whole bunch of people that started gay-shaming me," Natalie says. "Calling me a ‘d-ke,’ going on my social media and attacking me for being gay."
"It’s been a 28-year battle for me,” Natalie explained, describing how she had taken so long to come out.
“I wanted to set a standard because you can’t do that," Natalie says of outing people.
"There are so many teenagers and kids that commit suicide every year because they get outed inappropriately."
"She took something that was mine and made it her own, and she did it really in a nasty way," Natalie explains. "Outing someone is not right and I want to set that standard … I wanted to come out in the right way."
It should be a big moment that a person chooses, not something that someone else does out of revenge.
"I wanted to turn it into something positive," Natalie says. "So that viewers that are going through the same thing that I’ve gone through don’t have to go through it for 28 years."
That is so good of her.
Natalie has also made a series of not-so-subtle Instagram posts, including the tag #20gayteen -- a common tag this year within the LGBTQ+ community to remind people that there is goodness within the political nightmare of our times.
"Accepting myself as I was designed led me to the day I stopped trying to fit into a world that never really fit with me and gave me the chance to blossom into the person I am today," Natalie wrote in one post's caption, tagging it: "#selflove."
On Twitter, natalie shared another message.
"I came out with my story to share my truth with those who are battling the same thing I did," Natalie says.
She then asks fans: Do not throw hate at anyone for their actions."
In other words, don't troll Kaleigh. What she did was wrong, but Natalie only harped on it because she wants people to understand why it's wrong.
"I wanted to use my platform to educate people who are not informed," Natalie says. "Let’s spread love and education not hate"
Good for her!